At Seventeen

It was never for the night, but only
for the summer.     My seventeenth
summer. Never would I say it shouldn’t
have happened, because it did.
You with a past
I would certainly become a part of,
and I collecting stories.   An identity.
At seventeen. You took a part of that;
of all, or whatever, went forward.
What I have become.
Bones are formed through experience,
shaping us emotionally, physically, and
psychologically.           Down to the soul.
You were there.    There I was,
not knowing what to expect, and you
expecting nothing but honesty.
I didn’t question your motives, nor did I
question mine. Age was not important,
you said, nor was intent.
There was a difference.
Seventeen years. but only one summer.
July heat, the scent of patchouli,
sandalwood and #5. Intoxicating.
I tasted the moon on your breath,
and witnessed the clouds in your eyes.
A sullen anger, a hurt from before, and
your impatient need to get over
the emotions.    You talked about it.
I could only listen, or try, to understand.
At seventeen I could not know.
Yet.   I would learn.   Eventually.
In times of give and of take, we took
consciously. Each of us. Never a moment
of mixing the beginning up with the end.
We knew.    I wouldn’t ask;
at seventeen you don’t.    Of course,
I remember fireflies, the music, touch,
and the sense and secrets we rarely
acknowledged.   Not enough time.   Only
one summer.      It was close, something
I had never had before, but it was not
friendship. A friend you would see again.
Not only for a summer.

©2018 j.g. lewis

“It isn’t all it seems
at seventeen”
-Janis Ian

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